5 questions with Herbert Nold: Polk State students benefit from faculty’s professional, international experience

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Professor of Business Herbert Nold teaches strategic management, operational management, and leadership in Polk State College’s Business Program, which benefits from the professional experience and research of its faculty members.

Nold, who holds a Doctor of Management from the University of Phoenix, enjoyed a distinguished 30-year career in the public and private sectors, including time as a manufacturing engineer as well as a chief financial officer who oversaw operations, information technology, and human resources.

He prides himself on blending his decades of practical experience with textbook theory to facilitate students’ connections between what they learn in the classroom and the real world. Polk State News recently caught up with Nold as he prepares to serve as a keynote speaker at the World Conference on Business, Economic, and Finance in Valencia, Spain.

A lot has transpired since your last interview in 2015, including challenges such as the pandemic and opportunities such as your Endowed Teaching Chair Award. What have you been up to as of late?    

Since 2015, we were able to organize several student research projects with students traveling to Brazil and Panama to deliver the results of their hard work. I am looking forward to restarting our international study/travel abroad program with new and exciting projects.

In 2018, I was able to spend three months at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand, teaching MBA classes and presenting research at the International Conference on Knowledge, Culture, and Change in Organizations in Konstanz, Germany.

In 2019, I was honored to give a keynote talk at the Project Management Association’s Mexico division in Monterey and attended the Academy of Management Annual Meetings in Boston. Of course, the pandemic put travel on hold, but it is opening up again along with opportunities to expand Polk State’s footprint and gather knowledge to share with our students.

I was recently asked and accepted an invitation to join an initiative sponsored by the Organizational Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management to help develop Ph.D. curriculum focused on leadership, organizational development, and change. The chair of the initiative asked me to join to contribute after hearing my talk at the Academy of Management Annual Meetings in August and reviewing my new book. There are about 20 universities participating in this initiative including the University of Georgia and the University of Southern California. This is both an honor and a great chance to promote Polk State at the highest academic levels in the United States.

What drives your work with Polk State College and students?    

The motivation for my efforts at Polk State is the students and the contributions our graduates make to the community after graduation. Both of my parents were teachers and coaches, and my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in education. My passion has always been teaching and I view my 30-year career in business as just a detour from my real calling, influencing the next generation of leaders. It is very rewarding to hear about my students getting promotions, starting their own businesses, or going to grad schools. I look forward to writing recommendations that support our students’ careers after graduation. I continue to research, publish, and speak whenever asked to not only advance the field of management but also to engage with the latest thinkers so that I can bring the emerging management concepts back to Polk State and share them with my students. This gives Polk State graduates an advantage in their careers or grad school.

What are your latest accomplishments in terms of your research, publications, and speaking engagements?

Since receiving my doctorate in 2011, I have published 17 research papers in academic journals, two chapters in books, and most recently my first book titled Agile Strategies for the 21st Century: The Need for Speed. As of September 2022, my papers have been cited more than 600 times by fellow academics and “Agile Strategies” has been well received and is being evaluated for adoption in the curriculum at several universities. The publisher, Cambridge Scholars Publishing in the United Kingdom, recently released a paperback edition of the book which is available on the publisher’s website, Amazon, and Google Play.

This past year was busy. I teamed up with Mr. Lukas Michel from Switzerland and Dr. Jose Perez from Polk State to present a research paper titled “Innovation in the Insurance Industry” at the International Academic Conference on Business, Economics, Finance and Accounting in Orlando and that paper is being published in Journal of Strategic and International Studies.

A second paper titled “The Dunning-Kruger Effect on Organizational Agility” was accepted by the Academy of Management where I presented it at the AOM Annual Conference in Seattle in August, and it is currently published in the AOM Conference Proceedings.

I am now looking forward to attending the World Conference on Business, Economics, and Finance in Valencia, Spain, in October where I will be a keynote speaker. The title of my keynote is “Dynamic Capabilities for the VUCA 21st century: People-centric Management.”

Your work has an international reach that is taking you to Spain in October to serve as a keynote for the World Conference on Business, Economics, and Finance. What are you looking forward to the most about this opportunity?

This is an honor to be able to represent Polk State on an international stage to help establish Polk State’s reputation as a quality institution of higher learning. Other keynote speakers will be representing Vrije University in Amsterdam and the University of Suffolk in the United Kingdom. I always welcome every opportunity to promote Polk State and to engage with scholars to pick their brains so I can bring nuggets of knowledge back to Polk State to share with my students.

How do these experiences and your research integrate into your work here at the College?

I try very hard to integrate my research and international experiences into my courses to stimulate critical thinking, provide a path that connects theory with practice, and help students gain an appreciation for global relationships. All of these goals, along with introducing emerging management theories that are not included in the curriculum of other local schools, give Polk State graduates an edge both in careers and to continue their education. It is very rewarding to hear when one of our graduates has been promoted to higher management positions or has graduated from prestigious schools with a master’s degree or Ph.D. Several Polk State graduates have continued their education and graduated from UCF, UF, FSU, USF, and I must mention Harvard. We have Polk State graduates populating high management positions at major local companies along with city and county government. Hearing about their success makes all of the work worthwhile.